Trip Report

Fortress Mountain

Claire Kamak

7/30/2021 - 8/1/2021

Permits: National Forest Pass

Difficulty: Moderate

Route Name: SW Ridge

Snow Level: 7500 ft

Elevation Gain: 7000 ft

Total Miles: 22.00 mi

Gear: Ice axe & helmet.

From Trail Head to Camp: 5.0 hours
From Camp to Summit: 3.0 hours
From Camp to Trail Head: 4.0 hours

Weather: Sunny and sweltering one day, overcast the next, and rainy/smoke haze the third.

Cac and I decided to make this trip more leisurely and did it in 3 days (very doable in 2 days, just a long drive to account for.) The Glacier Wilderness area is incredibly beautiful. Lots of backpackers were doing multi-day loop hikes (dog friendly!). About 9 miles of gentle-grade trail then 1 mile of steeper trail to the campsite near the aptly named Pass No-Pass. From the campsite, we thought we could make a straight shot for Fortress but unsure of what was on the other side, decided to stick with the more traditional route up. Start toward Pass No-Pass, then parallel the ridge heading east, then up a loose gully toward the peak (Cac took one side of the gully and I the other to avoid pushing rocks down on each other), then pick your way across a chaussy scramble to the summit. We chose to have an adventure on the way back and went straight down aiming for camp. The straight shot from camp goes, but would recommend more for an ascent route and less for a descent route; many veggie belays were used through the cliff ledge system near camp. Below is a Kamak-created rubric to assess our experience/interpretation of this mountain divided in basic categories. Scale is 0-5, 0 being non-existent and 5 being high.

Campsite: 4
Effort to Reward Ratio: 3
Exposure: 1
Gully: 3
Loose Rock on Scramble: 3


  • Latitude: 48.15940
  • Longitude: -120.93340
  • Elevation: 8760ft
  • PeakBagger Link
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